Sheffield FC home in on return to city

Sepp Blatter, president of Fifa, with Richard Tims, Sheffield FC chairman.
Sepp Blatter, president of Fifa, with Richard Tims, Sheffield FC chairman.

SHEFFIELD FC have reaffirmed their determination to move back “home” to the city, albeit on a smaller scale than was previously planned.

The world’s oldest football club had hoped that England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup would be successful, and that spin-off grants would enable them to complete an ambitious multi-million pound bid to move back ‘home’ to Olive Grove two years ago.

But Fifa’s decision late last year to award the tournament to Russia meant that Sheffield FC, who currently play at Dronfield’s Coach and Horses ground, had to shelve the plans.

But the club remain determined to make the move, and admit that Olive Grove “is still an option”.

“England not getting the 2018 World Cup was a blow,” Sheffield FC chairman Richard Tims told The Telegraph.

“We’re just weighing up our options at the moment. We are still looking at moving home, but not quite on the scale we previously were.”

Speculation about the Olive Grove ground, where Sheffield Wednesday used to play before moving to their Hillsborough headquarters, began two years ago when it was revealed that then-tenants Sheffield Works Department Cricket Club were being ‘evicted’ by the Sheffield Works Sports Club management committee.

The club were informed that the “provision for cricket” at the Olive Grove site was being withdrawn – yet Sheffield Centralians, who lost their own Niagara ground, will play their this season.

Homeless SWD subsequently merged with Millhouses, to become Millhouses Works CC.

“We are extremely glad that the ground at Olive Grove is being brought back into use for cricket, as the loss of yet another cricket facility (Niagara) is regrettable,” Iain Mallett, from Millhouses Works, said. “We wish Sheffield Centralians the very best of luck and look forward to playing them at our former home, from which we were removed from in such disappointing circumstances, but where we enjoyed so much success.

“Our own new ground project is gathering pace and we hope to be in a position to make an announcement regarding this in the coming months.”

Sheffield FC, meanwhile, have announced the capture of former Ossett Town striker Shane Kelsey. Kelsey, who also played for Town’s rivals Ossett Albion, becomes manager Mark Shaw’s third summer signing after the arrivals of Matt Varley and Charlie Weir.